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Waco, Faith, Fear and Fire News/Business. (2011) Timeline of events from both sides of the standoof; recordings between the FBI negotiators and Koresh. (CC)




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David Koresh 24, Fbi 17, Us 11, Waco 9, Sheila Martin 9, Clive Doyle 6, Citi 4, America 3, Australia 3, The Fbi 3, Shari 3, At&t 3, Bible 2, Atf 2, Koresh 2, Heaven 2, U.s. 2, Israel 2, Oklahoma City 2, Texas 2,
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  CNN    CNN Presents    Waco, Faith, Fear and Fire  News/Business.  (2011)  
   Timeline of events from both sides of the standoof; recordings...  

    November 25, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00pm PST  

so they ride in armored vehicles. we can't have a show without a little psy. this time a homeowner in texas went gangnam style along with his christmas lights. here it is for you. ♪ ♪ gangnam style >> i'm martin savidge. have a wonderful night and the rest of your weekend. we hope it lights up the rest of your week. ♪ standoff has been going on about 45 minutes now. the alcohol and tobacco people apparently have telephone contact with somebody in the compound. >> my name is david koresh. >> david koresh.
>> my name is david koresh. >> to his followers david koresh was a messiah. >> god speaks to me. >> manifestation of god in the flesh. >> we believe this man had the truth. >> reporter: but to the u.s. government, david koresh was a threat. >> machine guns and explosive devices. >> reporter: in 1993, they went to war in waco. >> this ain't america anymore when the atf has that kind of power. >> reporter: it ended in catastrophe. 86 people dead. including at least 24 children. >> there had been nothing like this before. the siege was new and unique in america law enforcement history. >> if you distrust the government, waco is going to be symbolic to a lot of people of
what they really fear. >> i'm talking to you, somebody's going to get hurt. >> if he asks god for some kind of sign and god gives it, what does that mean? >> reporter: every saturday morning clive doyle and sheila martin study the bible. >> pe hold, the lord dpod will come with strong hands. >> reporter: they are about all that's left in waco of the branch davidians, an offshoot of the seventh day adventist church. their religious community went back generations. it even issued its own currency during the great depression. david koresh came to the faith and its texas commune in 1981.
who was he back then, to you? >> just a bum. >> reporter: former branch davidian kathy jones and her husband david had seen religious visionaries come and go. >> god speaks to me. >> reporter: this time was different. koresh would preach his way to power. >> i remember in the beginning, everybody was like, oh, he's crazy. he's this and that. i mean, that's all i heard. all of a sudden people were like, well, we're listening to him. he has a message. >> one, two, three, four. ♪ >> reporter: the message was a spell-binding account of revelation. the new testament's final book. ♪ revelation 14 his message >> reporter: koresh claimed he alone could explain the book's mysterious verses of the battle between god almighty and satan. >> there are some things god has concealed in his written word that are to be brought to due right before the end of time. >> i confronted him, yes. >> reporter: branch davidian
charles pace says he warned church elders in 1984 that koresh was a disaster waiting to happen. >> are they going to follow god or a man? >> reporter: the elders chose koresh. >> the stone is stumbling -- >> the scriptures poured out of his mouth. he just seemed to know so many things and knew how to explain them. >> take it from isaiah, referring to messiah, giving me signs in israel. >> my children learned how to swim in this pool. >> reporter: sheila martin came to the 77-acre compound in 1985. her husband, wayne, was a harvard law graduate. they brought their six children. >> i thought at first it was going to be a sunny day. just walk into the kingdom one day, bring my family, and we'll live forever through eternity, believing in the scriptures and doing the things god wanted. >> when it comes to religious matters, you're always learning.
>> reporter: clive doyle came to waco on his way from australia to israel. he ultimately stayed to study scripture with david koresh. >> as his message developed, we came to see him as more than just a prophet. >> reporter: a messiah. >> right. manifestation of god in the flesh. >> reporter: koresh added a twist to his message in 1989, declaring only he could have sex. all the other branch davidian men would be celibate, even married men. koresh, however, could have multiple wives. in this home video that he would later send to federal agents during the siege -- >> i'm not a mean person. >> no, no. >> reporter: -- koresh linked his blend of spirituality and sex with the purity of the garden of eden. >> he was showing it in the bible. this passage would say we were
just loaned to each other. >> beautiful custom work. >> reporter: koresh had sex with underage girls. with his various wives, he fathered at least 13 children. >> she'll have another one in about a month. >> it wasn't so much this is a man doing something we don't approve of. >> this is my little one, holly. >> as much as he was teaching us greater things. >> my love baby, right? huh? this is my great wonderful looks something that women can't resist? >> you know, i saw a lot of people around me having -- having babies. i mean, i knew that that meant my time was coming. >> reporter: kathy jones' husband, david, was okay with it. kathy was not. and she left. >> if i had stayed there, i would have had children by david koresh. that's when i really, really got scared.
>> god's in control. >> reporter: over time, koresh attracted a diverse group from as far away as australia, england, jamaica, the philippines, about 130 in all. >> trust god. read your bible. know what you're talking about. what are you doing with your life? what do you do every day with your life? is it something god approves of? >> reporter: the branch davidians supported themselves in part by buying guns to resell at gun shows. >> it's not against the law to buy firearms. it's not against the law to buy anything that they sell at a gun show. >> reporter: but by 1993, the federal government believed koresh was illegally converting rifles into machine guns. armed with arrests and search warrants, 76 agents piled into two cattle trailers for a surprise raid. it would be the largest armed assault in the history of american law enforcement.
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911. what's your emergency? >> reporter: february 28, 1993. >> hello? >> reporter: this is how the war in waco began. >> yeah, this is lieutenant lynch. may i help you? >> yeah, there's 75 men around our building and they're shooting at us. >> reporter: the caller was wayne martin, sheila martin's husband. >> our children were down on the floor. if we would have been standing up, we would have been hit. >> tell them there are children and women in here and to call it off. >> all right, all right. hello? i hear gunfire. oh, shit. >> reporter: it was a raid by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. >> hello. >> call it off! >> who is this? >> reporter: atf agents trying to arrest david koresh and search the branch davidian compound. the operation that winter morning was the culmination of
an eight-month investigation. feds believed koresh was illegally converting semi-automatic ar-15s, like this one, into the fully automatic machine guns soldiers use. the federal agents had rented a house across the street, posing as college students, trying to buddy up to koresh. but he never bought the act. >> we knew we were being watched from across the road. we knew there was some kind of government agency -- agents over there. >> reporter: atf planned a military-style raid, what they call dynamic entry. it hinged on the element of surprise. hide 76 agents in innocuous cattle trailers and strike while the davidian men were outside, away from their guns. >> we practiced for it. they drilled over and over again. >> reporter: the pressure for federal agents to act rose when
the local newspaper published an expose about koresh's multiple wives and sex with underage girls. with this sidebar, the law watches but has done little. >> and so as atf is preparing, the media is finding out and trying to make its own preparations in order to cover the raid. >> reporter: on that sunday morning, a local tv station sends a photographer out to the branch davidian compound to stake it out. he gets to this road, about a mile away, and realizes he's lost. the cameraman sees a mail carrier, explains who he is and asks directions. >> the mailman, very friendly, told the guy how he could find the property and then turned around and went to go ask to talk to david koresh. >> reporter: the mailman is
branch davidian david jones. and when jones speaks to david koresh, one of the atf college students is right there. >> david and them told him, we know who you are and what's fixing to happen. may god bless you, in effect. >> reporter: the atf agent races to the undercover house across the street, warns commanders the element of surprise was lost. >> he told them, please don't do this. he told them, they know we're coming. call it off. begged them to call it off. >> reporter: but instead of calling it off, the atf commanders load up and rush in. >> you come point guns in the direction of my wives and my kids, damn it, i'll meet you at the door any time. >> reporter: each side blames the other for firing first. >> i hear the shots. i thought, oh, my god, there's going to be a bloodbath. >> reporter: top federal officials would later call the
decision tragically wrong. >> let's settle this now before anybody gets hurt. is anybody hurt in there, wayne? >> i don't know. a man's screaming! >> what? >> a man is screaming! >> wayne? >> i'm under fire! >> reporter: in the middle of the gun battle, david koresh also calls 911. >> yeah, this is lynch. >> hey, lynch? >> yeah. >> that's kind of a funny name there. listen -- >> now, who am i speaking with? >> this is david koresh. >> okay, david. >> the notorious. >> reporter: koresh, calm, wants to talk scripture. >> now, there's some things in that bible that have been held as mysteries -- >> yes, sir. >> -- about christ. >> yes, sir. >> now, what it says in revelation 22, behold i come quickly, my reward is with me. the statement is, what reward
did christ receive in heaven from his father? he received a book with seven seals. >> let me -- can i interrupt for a minute? >> sure. >> we can talk theology, but not now. >> this is life. this is life and death. the theology we go with is life and death. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: finally, after 90 minutes, a cease-fire. >> i kept hearing that and i kept saying, oh, good, this is over. it's over. >> reporter: inside, koresh and others have been wounded. >> you want to see one of the holes here? here's one of them. >> reporter: six branch davidians are dead. outside, atf looks like an army in retreat. more than 20 agents wounded, four agents are dead. when you realized that not only were they shooting at you, but now you had dead federal law enforcement officers outside -- >> it was a whole different ballgame from that point on.
we're looking to god to indicate how we play this. >> reporter: the war in waco has just begun. treehouse? if it's big enough, you can have a disco. oh, yeah! why do you not want a smaller treehouse? because it wouldn't be able to fit a flat-screen tv, and then the tv would be about this big, and you would have to hold the wire, and the position you would hold the wire, you wouldn't be able to see the tv. that's a pain in the buns. yeah. yeah. yeah. yeah. [ male announcer ] it's not complicated. bigger is better. and at&t has the nation's largest 4g network. ♪ olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one.
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>> reporter: when atf agents raided the branch davidian compound in february 1993, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. >> law enforcement had never dealt with anything like this before. as many bad guys as they take
down, they've never been faced with this kind of firepower and people willing to use this kind of firepower. >> reporter: with four federal agents dead -- >> get that camera out of here! >> reporter: -- emotions are running high. >> many of the agents are wounded, they want to go back in there and say, let's do it, you know. let's get this thing over with. >> reporter: cooler heads prevail. authorities seal off the area and atf begins negotiating with koresh. the overriding concern, to get the children out of the compound. >> everything's okay. just you and me are talking. and that's the main thing, because you care for people and you're sincere and honest. >> i care about my father. >> that's right. >> my father in heaven. >> reporter: the feds are worried about another jonestown, where 900 members of a religious
cult died in a suicide pact in 1978 with cyanide-laced kool-aid. a serious concern when koresh quotes the book of revelation, with its prophecy of violence in the final days. >> so here we are at the day of the lord. all the prophets talk about the great and dreadful day of the lord when god will make inquisition for blood. >> that's not today, david. >> oh, it is. >> reporter: trying to find common ground, the agent talks about the davidians' huge stockpile of meals ready to eat, mres. >> what's your favorite one? i ate one of those yesterday. >> beef stew. >> beef stew? >> that's the only good one there. >> i like the apple sauce they have. >> oh, yeah, that's good. >> reporter: surreal considering the bloodshed. but some children are being sent out, including sheila martin's three youngest. >> i said, life is never going
to be the same. we are -- this whole situation had changed our whole life. >> reporter: meanwhile, in the wake of the atf debacle, the u.s. justice department sends in the fbi. there are two teams, a heavily armed tactical unit with armored personnel carriers, and negotiators, armed with a phone and their wits. >> i teach negotiators that the very first thing you have to have is self-control. >> reporter: gary nessner is the bureau's chief negotiator. when you got there, when you were briefed, what were you dealing with? >> i think in the context of the atf, where there clearly was anger, the freedom dominant emotion i was seeing or behavior was devastation. almost like walking zombies. >> reporter: nessner's team wants to understand koresh's personality. >> and this is something this whole nation's going to have to learn.
whether they are going to learn by being sober and listening or whether they are going to learn the hard way. >> i believe everything he did, almost throughout the entirety of the ordeal, was ambivalence, was part of me wants to ve, part of me wants to die. >> reporter: they looked for clues in this tv news report about koresh and branch davidians from australia. >> how will god talk to me? who's going to bring that book? so, there will be no excuses! >> they were sending agents literally all over the world, trying to scramble and find out anything they could, any former davidian, anything who knew anything about these people. >> reporter: within days, fbi profilers will send this report up the chain of command. koresh has characteristics associated with psychopaths. his followers have low self-esteem, unable to act or think for themselves and are easily manipulated. what does that tell you about
the fbi? >> they have a low estimation of us. >> reporter: sincere in their beliefs, the davidians are looking to god for guidance. tell me, how is god telling you what to do? god says, pack a lunch -- >> we look today for god to tell us. david was the medium through which god spoke to us. >> reporter: so you listened to david believing david was receiving his messages from god? >> correct. if you didn't think god was talking through him, you wouldn't have been there. >> reporter: by the end of day two, negotiators have a breakthrough. koresh promises to lead his disciples out, if the feds put his bible lecture on the radio nationwide. >> i, david koresh, agree upon the broadcasting of this tape to come out peacefully with all the people. >> reporter: clive doyle thinks life for him and his 18-year-old daughter, shari, will soon return to normal. >> when they're talking about us coming out, i go pack a lunch, tell my daughter, we're going to
go out and sit on the grass while they search the building. i'm still thinking a search warrant. i don't know how long it will take. we might get hungry. we'll sit out there. when it's through, we'll come back home. >> what we're trying to present today -- >> reporter: at 1:30 p.m., the sermon airs. >> we see that god has a book. >> reporter: one hour on the christian broadcasting network. >> and remember, the most fearful warning ever given to man in scripture is the warning found in revelation 22. >> reporter: but after the broadcast, the surrender plan changes. koresh says he's gotten a message. >> you know, when you confer with god, you can't turn away from him. >> reporter: god says to wait. what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows...
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i'm martin savidge in the cnn newsroom. let's get you caught up on some of the headlines. egypt's president is firm on his decree limiting the judiciary saying it is only temporary. many protestors camp out in tahrir square, they are not leaving until morsy reverses course. china has successfully landed a jet on an aircraft carrier for the first time. it will hold 30 jets but it will be years before it is fully
operational. you didn't win the bour ball but no one else did either. so the next jackpot is $425 million. good luck. those are the top stories this hour. let's get back to "thn presents. you want to resolve this as much or more so than you do. >> reporter: after promising federal negotiators that he would lead his followers out, david koresh says god told him not to. >> my god told me to wait and that's all i'm doing. >> reporter: koresh also has an earthly concern, being raped in prison if he surrenders. >> hopefully, if i'm notorious they won't but me with no bubbas, huh? there's a lot of bubbas that want to molest you if they think you molest children. >> reporter: feeling duped, the fbi commander orders the armored
personnel carriers closer to the building to tighten the noose. but it only seems to antagonize koresh. >> your organization in this united states of america is a liar. you're saying peace with your mouths, but your words are words of a dragon. >> as a negotiator, i would have preferred to go back to koresh again and again, trying to get him to live up to what he had promised to do rather than taking an action that only gave him ammunition to be more angry at us. >> reporter: the negotiators are now fighting on two fronts. >> hello? >> reporter: trying to calm david koresh -- >> no. >> you're just schmoozing me, trying use psychology on me. >> no. >> reporter: and trying to talk their own bosses out of overreacting. >> sometimes there's this compelling thing we call action imperative, where authorities
feel they have to do something to be seen as decisive and in charge. and when you're compelled to do that, you often end up doing the wrong thing. >> reporter: koresh isn't making it easy. he claims to have weapons that can penetrate the armored personnel carriers, which he calls little buggies. and threatens to blow the government's little buggies to pieces. >> that's when the decision was made by the tactical guys, let's get us a really big tank. they got in an m-1 abrams tank. >> reporter: the military armor is supposed to protect the tactical guys who are up close. even with the big guns removed, it's a show of strength to intimidate the branch davidians. instead, it strengthens the davidians' faith and intensifies their distrust. >> it's god who is directing david. >> reporter: ophelia santoya. >> i believe it. >> what do you think is going to happen in the next few days? >> i don't care. >> what do you believe is going
to happen? >> what? you guys are going to kill us. >> reporter: koresh himself looks to the old testament prophet nahum, who says god's enemies will come in chariots with flaming torches. to koresh, the fbi is fulfilling a prophecy. >> the chariots with flaming torches that make noise like thunder. you know, we know what that really is, don't we? tanks. >> reporter: despite the threatening heavy armor, the negotiators settle into a routine with koresh. >> david, let me -- where are you again now? >> we're here at chapters 26 of isaiah. >> okay. hold on for just a minute here. let me catch up with you a little bit. 26:9. >> reporter: there seems to be a rapport, and koresh praises his favorite negotiators for their friendly tone. >> now, the reason why we've
talked to henry is because henry, like yourself, you know, knows how to -- he knows how to be a waitress. and that's what you people are, you're professional waitresses. and, you know, professional waitresses -- >> that's a good analogy. >> -- that are really good get tipped good. >> reporter: the tip is the release of children, 21 kids in the first six days. >> when these beautiful little kids came in the negotiation room and sat on our laps, it was a constant reminder to all of us what was at stake here. >> reporter: the negotiators are based at this airfield 13 miles away. as children arrive, they put them on the phone with their parents. >> are you okay? >> yeah. >> reporter: floracita sonobe talking to mark, one of the children. >> they didn't treat you bad? >> no, they treated me good. >> what did they do to you? >> they put me in the tank and
took me to -- down on the road further down and put me in a van and brought me here. >> parents are parents the world over. and while they had an extraordinary allegiance to david koresh, we certainly wanted to tug at those parental heartstrings. >> hey, mark. >> huh? >> i love you. you be good boy, okay? >> okay. >> and if you see some of the kids, tell them i love them. >> okay. >> mark also talks to koresh's oldest son, cyrus. >> i'm at the airport. there's lots of planes out front. >> you see any taking off? >> no. cyrus, i went in a tank. >> were you kinda nervous? >> no. it was bumpy. that was the only thing. come on out when you can, if you can. >> i think i can. >> well, there was plenty of doubt, but i was pleased with
the progress of our strategy. i mean, of those first several days, we had a dozen or so children come out. and any way you look at that, that's a positive indicator. >> reporter: but many davidians will not budge, including clive doyle. did you ever consider leaving? >> why should i? i haven't committed a crime and this is where i live. why do i need to come out? >> hey, david? >> sir? >> are you a patient person? >> yeah, i'm fairly patient. >> you're going to see patience, because the only thing that we're going to do is sit and wait. >> reporter: despite the negotiators' promise, their counterparts, the tactical team with tanks, is losing patience. the war in waco is about to escalate. >> so, you know, you guys, you do it your way, i do it my way. i know. i'm will,
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>> they were to grow up and be part of the jury that would judge the world in the end times. and so these were like sainted kids. >> you want to go out? you want to leave? how come? >> because. >> because why? >> because i want to stay with you. >> you want to stay with me? >> yeah. >> reporter: the standoff is at a turning point. nearly 100 branch davidians remain inside, including 24 children. and the fbi is divided over what to do. >> the negotiators wanted to continue talking and the tactical people wanted to get it over with.
>> there was great tension and a big desire to get those people out of there. the question was, you know, how are you going to do it without further loss of life? >> reporter: siding with the tactical team, the fbi commander turns up the pressure, cutting electricity to the compound, blasting it with floodlights and cranking up the loud speakers. ♪ jingle bell jingle bell rock >> they bombarded the house with the sounds of dying rabbits. >> tibetan monk chants. buddhist chants. >> the sound of a telephone being off the hook. ♪ these boots are made for walking ♪ >> reporter: the fbi also plays a nancy sinatra song. ♪ one of these days these boots are going to walk all over you ♪ >> reporter: a song with an implied threat. >> those kinds of actions that agitate are counterproductive to relationship-building. we know that. we knew that then. we know it now. >> reporter: it was emotionally driven?
>> it was emotionally driven. it was driven out of frustration. >> they were not driving a wedge between us and david. what they were doing was creating attitudes between us and them. >> reporter: hardening your position? >> a lot of times, yeah. >> reporter: if anything, the fbi's get tough approach seems to confirm koresh's apocalyptic message. >> i know we are in the last days. >> i look around and i can see where, if this is not the end of time, i don't know when. >> reporter: koresh's disciples taped this message for their families. >> remember that i taught you that prophecy would have to be fulfilled and the time has come. >> i'm serving a true and living god that sits on the throne. and if you do so, you can't die. >> they believed they were on something like noah's ark. if you're on noah's ark, you ain't leaving the boat. >> reporter: three weeks into the standoff, 12 more adults have come out, including sheila martin. but she leaves behind her husband and her four oldest children.
>> they believed in god for themselves. they used to tell me that no matter the situation, if i chose to leave, they wanted to stay. >> reporter: the war in waco is now a stalemate. >> it was costing hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. there were hundreds of fbi personnel. >> reporter: i mean, this was a national -- >> international. embarrassing tv show that was going on. >> it was. and the fbi is a proud organization. and the fbi, i think, felt uncomfortable, now being in the situation which was being driven by, perhaps, a mad man. and feeling powerless and vulnerable. >> reporter: as negotiators talk, the tactical team is moving in, again. bulldozing vehicles in front of the compound, destroying them. >> if you're a david koresh, are you going to believe what the nice negotiator's telling you or
are you going to look out your window and be more influenced by more aggressive actions that you may feel threaten you? >> reporter: i mean, your work was being undercut, plain and simple? >> clearly it was, and that was beyond frustrating. >> reporter: frustrating and frightening to those inside the compound, like clive doyle's daughter, shari. >> she made a statement to me. she said, if they attacked and she got mangled or shot and was in a bad way, she said, don't let me suffer. and all i said to her, don't worry about it, shari. i says, it's all going to work out. god's in control. >> reporter: on day 46, the standoff takes what could be a major turn. koresh says he wants time to write down his final message on the book of revelation. and if he gets it, he promises to lead everyone out. >> i can go on paper here and say that david koresh told me that as soon as he finishes this manuscript -- >> i'll be splitting out of this place. i'm so sick of mres.
>> reporter: sick of mres. and no longer worried about getting raped in prison. >> can i say that i think that's one of your big concerns, is mr. bubba? >> i'm not worried about bubba. >> people were packing bags. people were all excited. it's over. all of this situation is about to come to an end. >> david, frankly, i'm eagerly awaiting this manuscript. >> i tell you what, it's going to blow your socks off. >> reporter: but the fbi doubts his intentions and has a plan to force him out. koresh sees the heavy armor clearing a path out front. >> you're doing wrong before god, before man. you are doing wrong! >> reporter: his response is prophetic. >> all i can say is that if you want to place this in the history books as one of the saddest days in the world, you're fixing to step across the
ribbon. >> reporter: within hours, david koresh and most of his disciples will die. i don't spend money on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise.
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it's time for to you exit the compound in an ordinarily fashion. >> reporter: april 19, 1993, just before dawn, over the fbi's loud speakers. >> david, individuals inside the branch davidian compound, we are in the process of placing tear gas into the building. >> reporter: the feds are out of patience and ready to make arrests for the murder of the four atf agents 51 days earlier. >> exit the compound now. submit to the proper authority, david. >> reporter: the tear gas is inserted from boons on specially modified tanks and fired from grenade-like canisters. >> you are under arrest. this standoff is over. >> reporter: when the davidians
shoot at the tanks, the fbi intensifies the gas. >> believe me, it will not get any better. it will only get worse. >> reporter: after two hours, the fbi begins ripping holes in the building, exit routes, they say. >> you go, if we step out of this hole, are they going to shoot us? are they so angry because atf agents are dead or because we made them wait so long? >> david, you have had your 15 minutes of fame. it's time to leave the building. >> reporter: an hour later, there's smoke and fire. >> we can work through this. don't lose control of this, david. don't lose control of this. >> reporter: flying above the complex, an infrared camera records the fire as a bright plume. >> david, don't do this to your people. >> reporter: within minutes, there's a second fire. then a third. >> this is not the way to end
this. lead your people out, david. be a messiah, not a destroyer. ♪ >> reporter: after 45 minutes, the building is engulfed. only nine people would make it out. >> i came out, basically driven out by the fire. >> reporter: sheila martin, who had come out three weeks earlier, is watching the drama on television, terrified for her husband and her four oldest children. >> you're thinking, if they were in the hallway alone, were they running? did the fire catch them? just very horrible to think. >> reporter: fanned by 25-mile-an-hour winds, this is doomsday.
critics blame the fire on the fbi's tear gas, but an independent special council ultimately found david koresh ordered the fire set with accelerants. >> i blame david koresh, but because i believe he's to blame does not mean we, the fbi, did everything right or we did not make mistakes, because certainly we did. >> reporter: you believe patience would have provided many more survivors? >> no question in my mind. i believe a successful negotiation is not getting everyone out alive. it's getting everyone out alive that we can. in my judgment, we did not get out everyone we could have. for me, that's a failure. >> reporter: autopsies found sheila martin's family died from smoke and fire. do you still cry? >> yes. i think the middle of the night is the worst, when you're -- you
wake up and you think about things. and you see a picture and see their smile. can't remember the way they sounded. you can't remember their voices. >> reporter: at let 20 deaths were from gunshots. they were suicides and mercy killings. among them, david koresh and shari doyle. >> and i believe that because of her either giving her life or having it taken from her violently like that, i believe that she is going to be saved. >> reporter: in all, 76 branch davidians died that day, including 24 children. that night, attorney general janet reno, who had approved the fbi raid, said it was intended to prevent the children inside from being harmed by david koresh. >> at the time, we made the best
decision i think we could based on everything that we knew. based on what we know now, it was obviously wrong. >> reporter: there were aftershocks. to extremists like timothy mcveigh, waco was a call to arms. he would bomb the federal building in oklahoma city, exactly who years later, killing 168 people. >> his feeling was this is a war between the people and the government. the government won waco, but we won bigger at oklahoma city. >> reporter: remarkably, neither clive doyle nor sheila martin blame the fbi. to them, the fire, the deaths, their grief, it was all part of a bigger plan by a much bigger power. >> god permitted it to work out the way it did. he didn't stop it. >> we don't want to feel that something horrible is something good, but that's what we're
supposed to have that faith that if something happens, you trip, you fall, you -- you trust god has a reason for it. >> reporter: i guess, sheila, is the fact that something horrible did happen and i'm not seeing the good. >> the bible says that all things work together for good for those that love the lord. >> reporter: today, there is a new chapel on the 77 acres and a new spiritual leader. charles pace, the man who challenged david koresh in 1984, says god chose him to take charge. >> yeah, that's what i think. that's what i believe. >> reporter: are you the prophet? are you a prophet? >> i believe that i'm enlightened, let me put it that way. >> reporter: with a few followers, pace is clearing debris, getting ready for what he believes will be the gathering of the faithful. >> tom, do you think it's too windy?
>> reporter: it will come at the end of time, he says, foreshadowed by the collapse of major governments around the world. perhaps soon. >> these english-speaking protestant nations are going to be swallowed up by the one world government and it's all going to be central bank. do you understand what i'm saying? they're all going to be swallowed up by the one world order. >> reporter: and what will be here when that happens? >> god's kingdom. >> reporter: clive and sheila martin don't buy it, not pace's vision. >> one, two, three, four. ♪ >> reporter: they believe that david koresh, not charles pace, will lead the world through the final days. >> i feel even stronger as a result of what has happened. >> reporter: faithfully, patiently, they are waiting for the resurrection. david koresh, messiah.